What a year it has been for Malayalam cinema. They have successfully touched on each and every genre and come out on top more often than not. Probably it has been that kind of year where I have watched more Malayalam films as compared to any other language this year. And so each time there is a Malayalam film releasing on OTT then I am curious. So when the Malayalam film Kaaval was scheduled to release on Netflix post its theatrical run, naturally I was excited. Does it maintain the high standards that are now synonymous with Malayalam films, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Kaaval follows the story of two friends who are inseparable until a family tragedy separates them for good. The story is typical, dull and outdated which is so unlike Malayalam cinema. The screenplay does not exude any confidence either. It is the same old plot recycled in a new bottle. For starters, this is a commercial film which didn’t sink in too well. Secondly, the film is far too long, a crisper edit would have been a better draw. And the film just doesn’t have too many engaging sequences. To give you a perspective, the initial buildup was such that I had to fast forward some parts and still I could follow what was going on. The drama is just so predictable that it becomes difficult to like the proceedings. The writers did try to introduce an element of mystery at the backend but it was so half hearted that you could guess is from a mile away. I had read somewhere that this was a homage to the 80s(no not Satyameva Jayate 2). But when you have excellent stories to tell, naturally this one will fall short of expectations. And I find it to be a bit unfair if I am bored in a film. Here it was just that unfortunately.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are typical here with almost none of them leaving an impact. The music is average, so is the BGM. The cinematography is decent at quite a few places. Director Nithin Renja Panicker just misses the mark here. The story was so outdated that all other departments were really playing catch up to be honest.
The performances are plain average and I wouldn’t want to single out anyone but it was a collective failure here. Only Suresh Gopi manages to impress in a few scenes there. The larger than life kind of role doesn’t really suit him or does justice to the brilliant actor that he is. But he does salvage a few scenes here and there but again nothing much to shout about.
In a crowded year for some amazing Malayalam films, Kaaval turns out to be the weakest link. Available on Netflix.